Author Topic: Dental insurance for baby?  (Read 853 times)

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5046
  • Location: United States
Dental insurance for baby?
« on: September 28, 2017, 01:35:56 PM »
Right now, my baby does not have dental insurance.
I've read they are supposed to have their first appointment when they get teeth or when they are one.

She's 6 months now, and has 2 teeth.

Do I really need to take her to a dentist? 
Do I need to take her next year?

If so, do most people actually get dental insurance for their infants, or just pay out of pocket?  How much does an infant cleaning typically cost?

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9066
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 01:43:44 PM »
Why would you want to get dental work done on teeth that are going to fall out in a few years?

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5046
  • Location: United States
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 01:50:22 PM »
Lots of reasons.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to decay in adult teeth.
Cavities typically hurt
Large cavities can require tooth extraction, losing the teeth before the adult tooth is pushing up can cause alignment issues
Tooth structure issues can cause speech issues
Dental infections can lead to brain infections (rare, but not unheard of)

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9066
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 02:02:47 PM »
Lots of reasons.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to decay in adult teeth.
Cavities typically hurt
Large cavities can require tooth extraction, losing the teeth before the adult tooth is pushing up can cause alignment issues
Tooth structure issues can cause speech issues
Dental infections can lead to brain infections (rare, but not unheard of)

Is any of that remotely likely though for a child that's so young?

I mean, maybe our family just lived a charmed life but nobody ever visited a dentist before four years old.  We had our teeth brushed as very young toddlers, but by two years old we were all brushing our own teeth.  No major tooth problems of any kind.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 900
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2017, 02:06:50 PM »
My pediatrician said it wasn't usually necessary until age 2 unless the baby was at risk of dental issues, in which case the baby should go in sooner for assessment. Of course, the dental societies recommend earlier at 1 year for a very proactive approach. I think alot of the ambiguity has to do with how fast their teeth come in and if their teeth are showing any signs of problems (crooked, overcrowded, etc). Some kids also are at higher risk of cavities because they continue to eat/nurse at night well past their teeth erupting, whereas others are sleeping through the night by the time they start teething and might be at lower risk since they don't have milk in their mouths at night. You might want to ask your pediatrician what they think.

My daughter is almost 2 and she isn't on our dental insurance this year. We are adding her this fall during open enrollment to our dental plan and will schedule her first visit after Jan 1 when she is covered. We are usually by-the-book when it comes to guidelines, but she was a late teether, didn't have many teeth by her 1st birthday, was having normal tooth eruption/placement, and was off night feeds months before she got her first tooth.

Friends who have taken their 2 year olds to the dentist say that they literally just look in their mouths quickly to make sure there are no problems, offer education/advice on tooth brushing, and attempt a rudimentary brushing/cleaning if the kid allows it (many times they don't so it's mostly an oral assessment to confirm everything is okay). I can't imagine what a dentist would do for a little one with only a couple of healthy teeth...there aren't enough in yet to even determine if there are potential problems.

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5046
  • Location: United States
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2017, 02:13:24 PM »
Thanks little_brown_dog. I guess I'll ask the pediatrician. Might also ask the dentist how much they charge for an infant.

She is still nursing to sleep, and also nursing 1-3 times per night.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1130
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2017, 02:20:20 PM »
We've never had dental insurance but see a dentist twice a year. For us, the cost of dental (& vision) insurance always worked out to be an expensive prepayment, so we pay the more affordable cash price as needed. We took DS to a pediatric dentist every 6 months after age 2 until he was 16. Pediatric offices are sized specifically for children. DS needed a few fillings over the years; you can't let a cavity go even if it's a baby tooth. Around age 17, he had impacted wisdom teeth that threatened the adjacent molars; they were removed before they grew the root structure, because it's less invasive, less painful, & less likely to damage a facial nerve. Mine were removed at age 23 because I was never taken to a dentist regularly as a child; my surgery was much more difficult. My mother lost almost all of her teeth to periodontal disease when I was 18; I swore I'd do everything possible to avoid that, & I have.

bogart

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 957
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2017, 03:06:11 PM »
Do you have access to decent dental insurance?  My employer (who generally offers good benefits) has a plan that honestly is best-case marginally better than break even for us, even just to add DS on (so it's worthwhile for me and DH, who are old and have assorted problems we are having addressed, but not really worth it to add DS even though adding him is relatively cheaper).

One issue in what's available to me is that the cost of adding 1 dependent to your plan is the same as the cost of adding 8 -- there are individual, spouse, and family plans but no nuance in the last of those 3.  Which is fine (I'm not complaining) but ends up working out so that adding just 1 kid is relatively expensive and low value, whereas adding 8 would be a great deal.  If your insurance options are structured the same way, I'd guess you'll find the same thing.

I've had DS off and on our plan and either works out about the same.  I have him on now, because we are approaching the age where he'll need braces (which he will) and he has to have had coverage for several years before they'll cover any of that (sigh).

HTH.

NeonPegasus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 293
  • Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
    • Neon Pegasus
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 03:22:42 PM »
My dentist didn't want to see my kids until they were three. DD1 and DD2 did fine at the dentist. DD3 is a raving lunatic who must be held, kicking and screaming. Know what the ped dentist does? Presses on her gums to check for inflammation. Obviously, official teeth cleaning isn't a huge deal for young kids.

Here's what is important:
- Do not give a kid a bottle/sippy of cow's milk or formula in their crib. BFing at night is fine. Google baby bottle tooth decay.
- As your baby gets older, do not give juice any more often than you would dessert. That's what juice is - dessert. It goes without saying that you shouldn't give soda.
- Brush your kid's teeth twice a day. You may have to sit on her to make it happen. They go through rotten stages where they hate it. Just remember - screaming makes it easier to brush.

Lots of reasons.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to decay in adult teeth.
Cavities typically hurt
Large cavities can require tooth extraction, losing the teeth before the adult tooth is pushing up can cause alignment issues
Tooth structure issues can cause speech issues
Dental infections can lead to brain infections (rare, but not unheard of)

Is any of that remotely likely though for a child that's so young?

I mean, maybe our family just lived a charmed life but nobody ever visited a dentist before four years old.  We had our teeth brushed as very young toddlers, but by two years old we were all brushing our own teeth.  No major tooth problems of any kind.

It depends on things like whether crappy teeth run in your family or whether you're giving your kid juice/soda. FTMP, the main issues will pop up after age 3 or 4 but geezus, the friends of mine who've had to deal with it had to shell out $$$. Procedures that would be not so bad on an adult get super $$$ on kids because they often have to get knocked out with general anesthesia because they won't allow work to happen on their teeth

As far as dental insurance goes, I've never seen a plan where the annual cost of the plan cost less than 2 typical cleanings.


Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4529
  • Location: BC
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 05:02:48 PM »
DS had problems with infection when his baby teeth were coming through.  I think the dentist looked at him for free, though.

Other families have kids under the age of 5 fall and smash front teeth.  Then you have the decision about what to do with a front tooth that is half broken off, because it is a baby tooth.  I know of three cases of this out of maybe 30 kids.

I am not sure if insurance is worth it, or better to pay as you go.  It would depend on the cost of insurance, I guess.

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5046
  • Location: United States
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 07:18:12 AM »
Hmmm, maybe my dentist will just look at her for free. That would be kind of awesome. 

As far as dental insurance goes, I've never seen a plan where the annual cost of the plan cost less than 2 typical cleanings.
My (single) dental insurance costs a bit less than 1 cleaning.
Family insurance costs a bit more than 4 cleanings, but more than the cost of DH and I on separate insurance with no coverage for our daughter.

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9066
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 07:43:45 AM »
Lots of reasons.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to decay in adult teeth.
Cavities typically hurt
Large cavities can require tooth extraction, losing the teeth before the adult tooth is pushing up can cause alignment issues
Tooth structure issues can cause speech issues
Dental infections can lead to brain infections (rare, but not unheard of)

Is any of that remotely likely though for a child that's so young?

I mean, maybe our family just lived a charmed life but nobody ever visited a dentist before four years old.  We had our teeth brushed as very young toddlers, but by two years old we were all brushing our own teeth.  No major tooth problems of any kind.

It depends on things like whether crappy teeth run in your family or whether you're giving your kid juice/soda. FTMP, the main issues will pop up after age 3 or 4 but geezus, the friends of mine who've had to deal with it had to shell out $$$. Procedures that would be not so bad on an adult get super $$$ on kids because they often have to get knocked out with general anesthesia because they won't allow work to happen on their teeth

As far as dental insurance goes, I've never seen a plan where the annual cost of the plan cost less than 2 typical cleanings.

Hmm.  We never drank anything but milk and water as kids, and now that we're parents we're doing the same with our kid.  The idea of giving pop to a kid under three never even struck me as a possibility.  Do people really do this?

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1374
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 07:52:41 AM »
For me, dental insurance is available but expensive through my employer. We declined coverage.

We pay out of HSA for dental when needed. a general inspection / cleaning should be $100 or less.

A lot of people cause trouble for their kids by allowing bottles of milk/juice as a security blanket, all the time, including in the crib. Then they get rot. Various nieces/nephews of mine, unfortunately, have horrible issues in their baby teeth from this.

I'd not worry about it much. if your dentist will take a look for free, that's great!
SWAMI (Satisfied Working Advanced Mustachian Individual) 1 stash, 1 DW, 7 Mini MM's...
God, Family, Country. Everything else is details.

rockstache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2805
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 08:08:31 AM »

Hmm.  We never drank anything but milk and water as kids, and now that we're parents we're doing the same with our kid.  The idea of giving pop to a kid under three never even struck me as a possibility.  Do people really do this?

I witnessed someone feeding their one year old child sugar on a spoon to keep them quiet in a restaurant recently. I'm guessing people absolutely do this.

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5046
  • Location: United States
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 08:09:43 AM »

Hmm.  We never drank anything but milk and water as kids, and now that we're parents we're doing the same with our kid.  The idea of giving pop to a kid under three never even struck me as a possibility.  Do people really do this?

Sadly, tons do.

I also know a very "old school" practice was to dip a pacifier in sugar or honey.

So far our daughter hasn't had a liquid other than breastmilk or formula (only during her first two months).
We don't plan to allow her to drink juice.

Since she doesn't use bottles at home, they are never in the crib.

I called the dentist and the baby's appointment would be $57 (Our cleanings are $160). So she'd only go on our insurance if it is better with the new enrollment to put my husband and I on the same plan.


NeonPegasus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 293
  • Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
    • Neon Pegasus
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2017, 08:26:24 AM »
Hmm.  We never drank anything but milk and water as kids, and now that we're parents we're doing the same with our kid.  The idea of giving pop to a kid under three never even struck me as a possibility.  Do people really do this?

OMG. Yes. I've seen soda in mfing bottles. It makes me want to cry.

As far as feeding a spoonful of sugar, consider this: that's still way less sugar than a 4 oz serving of juice. http://nursing.msu.edu/neat/docs/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20CDI%20Question%204-Sugar%20in%20Beverages.pdf According to that chart, koolaid has less sugar than any juice!

My kids are older and in school (10, 7, 4) and their dentist practically weeps for joy when I remind him that we don't do juice or soda at home and that milk only in cereal. He tells me we're pretty much the only family he sees all week that is that strict. And I know of another family that left his practice because they were tired of him getting on to them about feeding their kid (who has numerous teeth issues) juice/soda.

brycedoula

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2017, 11:42:16 AM »
While I see ads on the sides of city buses reminding parents to take their children to the dentist within 6 months of first tooth (ads sponsored by the local Dental Association, of course!) I've been told by other parents, and my own dentist as well, that bringing a child in before they can A) hold still & B) open & keep open their mouth on command is generally an exercise in frustration.

If your child is only drinking breast milk & water, not consuming sugar (other than what's in whole fruit) & you're able to get a tiny toothbrush in there at least once a day? Probably not worth it @ this time.

(I say this as someone who is very spoiled with good teeth, has a toddler who lets me brush her teeth & excellent employer-paid dental insurance...)

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 798
  • Age: 41
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2017, 11:57:43 AM »
Here's what is important:
- Do not give a kid a bottle/sippy of cow's milk or formula in their crib. BFing at night is fine. Google baby bottle tooth decay.
- As your baby gets older, do not give juice any more often than you would dessert. That's what juice is - dessert. It goes without saying that you shouldn't give soda.
- Brush your kid's teeth twice a day. You may have to sit on her to make it happen. They go through rotten stages where they hate it. Just remember - screaming makes it easier to brush.

Good advice here.  Our DD is 2.5, and she's never been to the dentist.  DW and I have insurance through work, and we'll add her for next year.  Pediatrician is in no rush.  In talking to my siblings, they all took their kids to the dentist at 3 or 4.  None had any issues (at least, none that were caused by going to the dentist "late").

kimmarg

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: Northern New England
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 12:26:50 PM »
hmm thanks for reminding me I'lll have to look into it at open season. Kiddo will be 2 next month and hasnt been to dentist yet. Pediatrcian did flouride treatment though. at 1 she had only 3 teeth so not much point.  I think it might also depend on family history. I dont' have many teeth problems but the kid has already been to eye doctor twice (once a year) as my eye sight is poor.

mm1970

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4640
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 12:55:57 PM »
Lots of reasons.
Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to decay in adult teeth.
Cavities typically hurt
Large cavities can require tooth extraction, losing the teeth before the adult tooth is pushing up can cause alignment issues
Tooth structure issues can cause speech issues
Dental infections can lead to brain infections (rare, but not unheard of)

Is any of that remotely likely though for a child that's so young?

I mean, maybe our family just lived a charmed life but nobody ever visited a dentist before four years old.  We had our teeth brushed as very young toddlers, but by two years old we were all brushing our own teeth.  No major tooth problems of any kind.
It can happen, depending on the kid, the teeth, the diet, and what happened in utero.

The short version is: my kids went to the dentist for the first time at age 2 or 3.

jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1287
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 12:57:32 PM »
I am very confused by all these responses about the cost of cleanings.  Our medical insurance has (for the last 4-5 years) covered preventative dental vision visits to the extent of two dental cleanings and one eye exam per year.   I thought this was standard or required on medical policies - is it not?  My children have never had separate dental insurance, they go to a pediatric dentist and we've never paid anything for their 6-month visits, which we started at about 18 months.   I'd say start early - it's always good to get them in the habit of cleanings and I'd never wait until 4 years old.  For the record, they drink mostly milk or water and watered down juice on occasion. No cavities.   

TrMama

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1875
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 01:33:09 PM »
Cavities aren't the only reason your kid might need to go to the dentist. Both my kids have had teeth pulled. One had an entire multi-practice dental team by the time she was 7. No moral failings related to sugar or brushing on the part of anyone were the cause. Just one accident while playing and major overcrowding that lead to multiple abscesses and a bunch of extractions when the ortho determined there was no way to tetris-fit all the shark teeth into her mouth.

While I agree that taking a child under 3 is likely an exercise in frustration, by the time they're 7 or 8 you should have dental insurance AND be on the lookout for a policy with decent orthodontic coverage.

iowajes

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5046
  • Location: United States
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 02:57:03 PM »
I am very confused by all these responses about the cost of cleanings.  Our medical insurance has (for the last 4-5 years) covered preventative dental vision visits to the extent of two dental cleanings and one eye exam per year.   I thought this was standard or required on medical policies - is it not?

I've never had a medical policy that covers dental.  I've had one (in five jobs) that covers vision.

Sometimes dental or vision procedures are considered medical. A pediatric dentist revised my daughter's tongue tie and that was medical (of course, it was out of network, so they didn't pay anything) and I've had a corneal ulcer that was treated by an opthamologist as medical.

NeonPegasus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 293
  • Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
    • Neon Pegasus
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 07:18:09 PM »
I am very confused by all these responses about the cost of cleanings.  Our medical insurance has (for the last 4-5 years) covered preventative dental vision visits to the extent of two dental cleanings and one eye exam per year.   I thought this was standard or required on medical policies - is it not?  My children have never had separate dental insurance, they go to a pediatric dentist and we've never paid anything for their 6-month visits, which we started at about 18 months.   I'd say start early - it's always good to get them in the habit of cleanings and I'd never wait until 4 years old.  For the record, they drink mostly milk or water and watered down juice on occasion. No cavities.

My kids' medical plan include pediatric dental coverage but *only after the deductible had been met. * so that would be $6.5k of expenses first


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

cacaoheart

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 144
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 08:17:22 PM »
I am very confused by all these responses about the cost of cleanings.  Our medical insurance has (for the last 4-5 years) covered preventative dental vision visits to the extent of two dental cleanings and one eye exam per year.   I thought this was standard or required on medical policies - is it not?

Maybe it varies by state. I'm in North Carolina and have never seen that. Dental insurance is separate and mine covers the cost of two dental cleanings per year so I about break even cost wise by having it. I've heard of medical insurance covering dental accidents, like if someone knocked out their teeth in a bicycle crash, but that's it.

jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1287
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 08:45:08 PM »
Maybe it does depend on state, but some quick googling indicates that it's currently very common. Not medical procedures that are also medical, or accidents/injuries. I was referring to cleanings only.

milliemchi

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 292
Re: Dental insurance for baby?
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2017, 09:53:00 PM »
Neither of my kids had seen a dentist before the mandatory Kindergarten exam at 5. We didn't brush until ~2, and not regularly until 3 or 4. We don't go to yearly exams (school provides), and don't do cleanings. Kids still don't brush in the AM, but I'm trying to work that into the routine now. At 10, my daughter was one of only a couple of kids in her class that had no cavities. Son is still small. Neither kids flosses yet, which I actually find important and we'll be working on it shortly.

The trick is to a) avoid sugar, and b) space out the meals. This means no sipping on juice/milk/anything all day long, no beverages other than milk or water (no juice ever), no snacks all day long, no sweets ever until 2, and only on weekends after that (and only one or two a day). The pH in the mouth shifts to tooth-decaying after a meal, and then shifts back to tooth-remineralizing after about 20 minutes. if you snack or sip every 20 minutes, your teeth are toast. If you space food out, you'll be fine. This way of eating/drinking is also healthier.